Ethics

Researchers’ attempts to talk about their challenging fieldwork experiences are often dismissed as being the result of bad or unethical practice, despite evidence of the ubiquity of fieldwork challenges in Anthropology (Pollard 2009). The ethical guidelines of our universities and professional associations provide us with clear directions on the conduct of anthropological research. We are rightly guided by responsibilities to our research participants, to our funders and to our colleagues and the discipline as a whole. What is less clear, is how challenges to these directions should be navigated. In our experience, many cases of ethical dilemmas during fieldwork arise without much warning, and often in contexts that we could not have pre-empted. The articles here explore the ways researchers have managed ethical challenges, and propose calls for revisions to our professional ethical guidance. In addition, this section of the blog also pays particular attention to the intersection of digital ethnographies and ethical practice, including questions of researcher privacy online; location based apps; the use of multiple accounts; and social media and informed consent.